alec greer

Greer, Alec

Academic Appointments:

Professor of Chemistry, Brooklyn College of CUNY
Professor of Chemistry, The Graduate Center of CUNY


BS California State University, Chico; Ph.D. Chemistry, U. Wyoming

Research Focus:

My group is interested in fundamental aspects of organic chemistry and photochemistry. Factors that control or amplify production of reactive oxygen species are of interest. We embrace multiple technologies, even engineering. We have developed a fiber optic method for singlet oxygen and sensitizer delivery for precision eradication of cancer cells in vitroin a process called “pointsource” photodynamic therapy (i.e. a new acronym PSPDT). PSPDT channels oxygen and red diode laser light through a probe tip which can be implanted at the tumor site. Our aim is that the research will open the door to a brand new area of fiber optic-guided drug delivery whose origins come from concepts in organic synthesis and molecular photochemistry. Our basic notion is also to integrate methods from organic chemistry to reactive intermediates to antibacterial action. Some projects are focused on the inactivation of bacteria at air/liquid interfaces including delivery of singlet oxygen to sites and accentuating its toxicity with surfactants. Lastly, theoretical methods are also used to try to deepen our understanding of experiments, reaction mechanisms are probed with density functional theory.


Selected Publications

Belh, S. J.(a); Ghosh, G.; Greer, A. “Surface-Radical Mobility Test by a Self-Sorting Mechanism: Symmetrical Product upon Recombination (SPR)” J. Phys. Chem. B 2021, 125, 4212-4220.

A. M. Durantini; A. Greer “Interparticle Delivery and Detection of Volatile Singlet Oxygen at Air/solid Interfaces” Environ. Sci. Technol. 2021, 55, 3559-3567.

R. M. O’Connor(c); A. Greer “How Tryptophan Oxidation Arises by ‘Dark’ Photoreactions from Chemiexcited Triplet Acetone” Photochem. Photobiol. 2021, 97, 456-459.

A. M. Durantini; P. P. Mohapatra; M. Ashaque(c); M. E. Zatoulovski(c); M. M. Kim; K. A. Cengel; T. M. Busch; T. C. Zhu; A. Greer “Photooxidative Vulnerability to Intralipid in Photodynamic Therapy” In Periodical Reports in Photochemistry of the Royal Society of Chemistry; Protti, S.; Raviola, C. Eds.; Cambridge, UK 2021, Vol. 48, pp. 411-422.

M. J. Sosa; M. N. Urrutia; P. L. Schilardi; M. I. Quindt; S. Bonesi; D. Denburg; M. Vignoni; A. Greer;E. M. Greer; A. H. Thomas “Mono– and Bis-Alkylated Lumazine Sensitizers: Synthetic, Molecular Orbital Theory, Nucleophilic Index, and Photochemical Studies” Photochem. Photobiol. 2021, 97, 80-90.

J. Robinson-Duggon; N. Pizarro; G. Gunther; D. Zúñiga-Núñez; A. M. Edwards; A. Greer; D. Fuentealba “Fatty Acid Conjugates of Toluidine Blue O as Amphiphilic Photosensitizers: Synthesis, Solubility, Photophysics, and Photochemical Properties” Photochem. Photobiol. 2021, 97, 71-79.

Matikonda, S. S.; Helmerich, D. A.; Meub, M.; Beliu, G.; Kollmannsberger, P.; Greer, A.; Sauer, M.; Schnermann, M. J. “Defining the Basis of Cyanine Phototruncation Enables a New Approach to Single Molecule Localization Microscopy” ACS Cent. Sci. 2021, 7, 1144-1155. Highlighted in C&E News.

M. S. Oliveira; G. Chorociejus; J. P. F. Angeli; G. M. V. V. Safadi; G. L. B. Aquino; G. E. Ronstein; L. F. Barbosa; M. C. Oliveira; M. H. G. Medeiros; A. Greer; P. Di Mascio “Heck Reaction Synthesis of Anthracene and Naphthalene Derivatives as Traps and Clean Chemical Sources of Singlet Molecular Oxygen in Biological Systems” Photochem. Photobiol. Sci. 2020, 19, 1590-1602.

O. Turque(a); A. Greer; O. R. Wauchope “Synthetic Feasibility of Oxygen-driven Photoisomerizations of Alkenes and Polyenes” Org. Biomol. Chem. 2020, 18, 9181-9190.

S. Jabeen(a); M. Farag(c); B. Malek(b); R. Choudhury; A. Greer A Singlet Oxygen Priming Mechanism: Disentangling of Photooxidative and Downstream Dark Effects. J. Org. Chem. 2020, 85, 12505-12513.

Ortel; S. Jabeen; A. Greer “Adjuvants that Empower the Action of Photodynamic Therapy” Photochem. Photobiol.2020, 96, 725-727.

Belh, S. J.; Walalawela, N.; Lekhtman,; Greer, A. “Dark-binding Process Relevant to Preventing Photooxidative Damage: Conformation Dependent Light and Dark Mechanisms by a Dual-functioning Diketone” ACS Omega 2019, 4, 22623-22631.

Walalawela; A. Greer “Heterogeneous Photocatalytic Deperoxidation with UV and Visible Light” J. Phys. Org. Chem.2018, e3807.

Malek; W. Fang; I. Abramova; N. Walalawela; A. A. Ghogare; A. Greer “Ene Reactions of Singlet Oxygen at the Air-Water Interface” J. Org. Chem. 2016, 81, 6395-6401.

A. Ghogare; A. Greer “Using Singlet Oxygen to Synthesize Natural Products and Drugs” Chem. Rev. 2016, 116, 9994-10034.

[(a) Ph.D. student; (b) MS student; (c) undergraduate student; (d) research assistant at Brooklyn College]


Lyons, A.M.; Greer, A.; Xu, Q.F., Singlet Oxygen Generating Device for Selective Destruction of Pathogens, US patent application No. 15/729005 Publication No. 20180099063, published 4/12/2018.

Grants over the last 5 years

External Federal Funding

NSF STTR Phase I Award, 2021-2022, (for our company SingletO2 Therapeutics LLC with co-PI Marc Hodes, Tufts University)

Safe Disinfection and Oxygen-Level Enrichment in Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS) Using Singlet Oxygen

NSF Single Investigator Award, 2019-2022,

Multiphase-Separation and Control of Serially Produced Reactive Oxygen

NIH SBIR Phase II Award, 2019-2022, (for our company SingletO2 Therapeutics LLC)

3D-Printed Superhydrophobic-Tipped Optical Fiber for Targeted Periodontal Photodynamic Therapy